Sunday, 3 January 2016
Mulled cider pouches - a winter evening warmer
I was looking for a little extra something as gifts for friends and family and came across the idea of little bags of spices to add to warmed cider. I absolutely adore mulled wine but have to admit I'm not a big cider fan but I'd never tried it in the mulled variety. Now that I have, I'm a big fan. This little pouches of warming spices can give quite a punch to that warmed cider I tell you! They're simple to make and can be presented beautifully with a small bottle of cider to make a delightful handmade gift.
To make about 20 little pouches I used about 2 muslin squares (found in the baby aisle), about 5 long fresh cinnamon sticks (from the local health food store), 1.5 jars of star anise, about 1/2 jar of cardamom pods, a good handful of cloves (I already had a large bag of them) and some roughly crushed black peppercorns from your pepper mill (although the original recipe I found suggested whole black pepper corns). All the spices are available from a good supermarket.
Make a paper/cardboard circular template, about 15cm in diameter and pin this to a square of muslin laid out on a clean flat surface. Cut around the template and then use the muslin circle to fill with your spices. You'll need a crumbled chunk of cinnamon stick, two each of star anise and cardamom pods, four cloves and a pinch of roughly crushed black peppercorns. Using a length of bakers twine gather up the edges of the muslin to form a pouch and tie securely with thezxs twine.
You could make a few pouches and store in a pretty glass jar, or drop a couple of pouches into a clear cellophane bag tied to the neck of a bottle of cider.
Don't forget to add instructions on how to use them:
Pour a glass of cider into a pan, add one of the mulled cider pouches and heat through. You can either remove the pouch before pouring the warmed cider back into the glass or you can leave the pouch to brew as you drink. The longer it brews the warmer the taste - the black pepper certainly gives the drink a bit of a zing.
The original idea was found on House to Home website.